Parenting Expense Adjustment - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do Minnesota courts determine child support?
A: The courts use the guidelines in Minnesota law to set child support by considering the incomes of both parents and the number of joint children.
Q: What is a parenting expense adjustment?
A: A parenting expense adjustment reduces basic child support to offset the costs of caring for the children during parenting time.
Q: What are the changes to the law?
A: Starting Aug. 1, 2018, the new parenting expense adjustment law changes how courts adjust the basic child support amount for parenting time expenses, based on the number of overnights parents have with their children in their court order.
Q: Will my child support order change automatically?
A: No. Child support orders will not change automatically because of this new law. It only affects parents with court-ordered parenting time. See the question 'What should I do next?' below for more information.
Q: How will this new law affect my child support?
A: It depends on the amount of parenting time ordered and the incomes of both parents. After Aug. 1, 2018, if you file a Motion to Modify Child Support, the court will apply the new law to the basic child support. The court may modify the basic child support if the new amount is at least $75 or 20 percent higher or lower than the current order.
The basic child support could go up, down, or stay the same in the new court order.
Before filing a motion, you can contact your county child support office for more information or use the Minnesota Child Support Guidelines Calculator online, to estimate the new amount of child support the court may order.
Q: What should I do next?
A: If you have a court order with a number of overnights or with language you can use to determine the number of overnights (for example a parenting time schedule, a percentage of parenting time or the number of overnights per year), you may file a Motion to Modify Child Support after Aug. 1, 2018 and the court will apply the new parenting expense adjustment law. The court may modify the basic child support if the new amount is at least $75 and 20 percent higher or lower than the current order.
If you have a court order for parenting time but overnights are not stated in the order (for example reasonable parenting time, parenting time as agreed by the parties, or reserved parenting time), you may file a Motion for Parenting Time Assistance. The court will review your request under Minnesota law and issue an order on parenting time.
If you do not have a court order for parenting time, you may file a Petition to Establish Custody and Parenting Time. The court will review your request under Minnesota law and issue an order on custody and parenting time.
Q: Where can I find the forms I need? Is there a filing fee?
A: The forms are online at www.mncourts.gov/getforms.aspx. Yes, courts will charge a filing fee unless the court approves a fee waiver. The amount may vary by county. Contact your local court administrator's office for more information.
Q: How can I get more information?
A: Contact your county child support office, your local court self-help center, or consult a family law attorney.
Minnesota statutes related to the parenting expense adjustment: